Marketing Takes on the Digital World | By Alan E. Young

Digital marketing is a term that is used frequently, but has the time come to stop considering it an entity that is separate from overall marketing strategies?The reality is that all marketing today contains a massive digital component. Today’s strategies must be conceptualized with the digital nature of the modern consumer in mind, as opposed to being an add-on to another marketing plan. People of all ages are increasingly running their lives with digital devices, and there is a growing expectation for the experience to be customized to their personal interests and needs.

mobile marketingAt the same time, there are many organizations that continue to separate digital from other marketing avenues, with segregated teams that do not work together cohesively. While this made sense in the early days of digital, it simply isn’t the most effective approach anymore.

To achieve marketing maturity in an ever-evolving landscape, companies must build an adaptable business structure that allows their team to be unified in working toward a single goal. The need to create high quality messaging is key, and marketers must continue to develop engaging and insightful content regardless of the medium.Although traditional channels still exist, it’s important to create digital cultures rather than marketing silos in order to fully integrate skills throughout organizations as we move into the future. The array of marketing activities need to be interwoven to develop robust campaigns that achieve success across the board, allowing for traditional to influence digital, and vice versa.What can we expect to see in the coming year?

Content marketing has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, and it shows no sign of slowing down in the coming period. While it can be easy to get caught up in the complexities of SEO elements, it’s essential to remember that the key is delivering fresh and relevant content that resonates with your target audience.

A new marketing focus is shifting away from simply creating more content to providing the right content. Consumers now expect personalized and hyper-relevant information that is delivered to them instantly wherever they are engaging, whether that is on social, email or any other channel. The pressure to consistently provide a seamless and enticing experience will increase and marketers must meet this demand to achieve success.

Ad-blocking is also on the rise, which will have a big effect on the future of marketing. The model of delivering free content that is funded by display advertising, such as banners and pop-ups, is therefore becoming less effective. Taking advantage of cleaner platforms that showcase truly relevant content as part of a cohesive communications strategy will help marketers to avoid losing ground from the growing usage of ad-blocking software.

The Gold Mine of DataPredictive analytics is becoming increasingly useful to assist with the efficient allocation of marketing budgets. By utilizing the latest tools and techniques to make sense of the massive amount of data that is being generated with each impression and click, there is a tremendous opportunity to make the most out of every marketing dollar that is spent.

Most organizations are spending marketing dollars across many different channels. The ability to attribute value to each touchpoint in the path to purchase will allow marketers to accurately predict the budget allocation that will perform best. Additionally, predicting the probability of an audience to become a customer allows the focus to be on high value prospects.

Modern consumers expect a high level of personalization. By combining digital experiences with customer data, it becomes possible to predict the groups of users that are more or less likely to respond to different types of messages, offers and imagery. Today’s personalization tools allow marketers to deliver customized content that matches a consumer’s interests and expectations with a much higher degree of accuracy than has been possible in the past.B

eacon is the New MobileConsidering the growing prevalence of mobile shopping, beacon technology usage is expected to increase exponentially in the coming year. Location-based marketing offers attention-grabbing ways to engage with consumers by providing them with discounts and other information on their smartphone when they are in close proximity to a store.A 2015 study by Air Mile operator LoyaltyOne, in partnership with the Canadian Marketing Association, indicates that 62% of Canadian consumers who were surveyed are using their smartphones to assist them while shopping, with this number increasing to 80% among millennials. Impressively, 45% of the respondents said that they have used a device in-store that has led them to make an immediate purchase. When asked what they find appealing about connecting with retailers through in-store beacons, 62% of respondents said that they like the idea of receiving rewards that are relevant to their location, while 56% appreciate receiving alerts that are related to their whereabouts.

Certainly, the meteoric rise of mobile marketing has prompted a growing number of smartphone users to opt-in to location-based deals. Although this requires consumers to expose their personal data and proximity to retailers, many believe that the incentive of exclusive, time-sensitive specials or rewards are worth the sacrifice of an element of privacy. At the same time, it’s important to find the most effective quantity of location-based services to send, as 23% of the survey respondents indicated that they have uninstalled or opted out of push notifications from a retailer’s app due to the frequency of messaging.

We are now living in an era where digital marketing can no longer be considered a stand-alone entity. The organizations that are most effective have removed marketing silos to create unified messaging concepts across all types of media and campaigns. In the coming year, the hyper-personalization of highly engaging and relevant content will be the primary key to ensure successful marketing initiatives in the digital world.

Source: Marketing Takes on the Digital World | By Alan E. Young

New global retail study reveals consumer demand for new ways to pay

The world’s first retail focussed social listening study by MasterCard, highlights consumers desire for retailers to adopt new payment technologies

Source: New global retail study reveals consumer demand for new ways to pay

Shoppers around the world are demanding their retail experience is transformed, a study by MasterCard has revealed on the eve of this year’s World Retail Congress. Retailers are under increasing pressure to adopt new payment technologies, as shoppers demand simpler and more innovative ways to pay, MasterCard’s first Retail Social Listening Study has uncovered.

In a world first, the MasterCard study in partnership with PRIME Research, analysed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail, across 61 markets in order to understand consumer experience over the last 12 months.

The global social listening study identified some of the key trends within the shopping and retail space, in order to provide retailers with stronger insights and understanding of their audience. Key findings from the study indicated retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations, requiring new and richer experiences, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’.

Key findings identified from the MasterCard Retail Social Listening Study include:

  • Convenience through technology innovations: New payment innovations and launches into the payments market stirred up the most conversation, the study found. The emergence of new digital payments lead to the most positive conversations around convenience (77%) with the travel sector leading the way in terms of the highest share of coverage. Consumers specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel.
  • Being rewarded: Rewards and benefits for the consumer was the most vociferously and positively discussed topic across social media when it came to shopping and retail. Entertainment was the sector leading the way, where rewards & benefits was most discussed. Consumers expressed eagerness for further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards for using them regularly, such as with MasterCard’s Fare Free Friday’s in London.
  • Demand for increased acceptance: After rewards and benefits, consumer discussion of which retailers do and do not accept newer forms of payment was the second most discussed topic according to the study. Consumers discussed extensively their desire for retailers to integrate new payment systems, with conversations about fashion being most prominent in terms of sector. Fashion focussed shoppers were the most keen to shout about retailers who accept new methods of payment, such as NFC acceptance and mobile payment capabilities.

In addition, Twitter was highlighted as the globally biggest social media platform when it came to online conversations about retail and shopping.

Carlos Menendez, Executive Director for International Markets at MasterCard said;

“The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay. It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”